Thursday, July 24

Short circuit - Meetup.com steals my soul

I never thought this day would come.

I've hit a personal pseudo-Singularity from which I can never return.

This morning, at approximately 4:30AM Eastern, I felt ... wait for it ... over wired!

I've always enjoyed being as connected as I could be. Writing BASIC, Apple BASIC, BASICA, GW-BASIC in elementary school. Modems and BBSes and QBasic and CompuServe and early AOL when I was still a kid. Writing LEGO LOGO in middle school. The wide, wide world of websites, the Internet, opening in high school and beyond. The pagers, the cell phones, dial-up, broadband, ethernet, WiFi, Bluetooth, clients, servers, distributed systems, SOA. An evolution I never stopped loving. Until today.

At approximately 4:30AM this morning, I was woken by a SMS notification, heard from my bedroom, on my HTC Wizard charging in the living room. SMS had grown noisy -- Twitter was overwhelming, every other SMS-notifying service was making me simply ignore SMS notifications, missing truly important ones -- so I had trimmed it down to just the ping monitoring service used to monitor critical websites and systems, and ...

Meetup. Meetup.com. It's nice, a little while before a Meetup, to get an SMS reminder with an address or directions in it. Very, very handy. I belong to a number of meetups, both here in Albany and in New York, so occasionally the event reminder itself is valuable as well.

There was an Albany small business Meetup scheduled for this morning, though it was a halfhearted effort that never really materialized, in part due to the organizer being out of town, in part due to people being lazy and otherwise occupied in summer. That Meetup was scheduled for 7:30am.

Ever so kindly, Meetup.com sent me an SMS reminder, a few hours before the Meetup. At 4:30 in the morning. There's no SMS scheduling for Meetup, like any sensible SMS-utilizing service, like Twitter. Perhaps Meetup's new backers, Union Square Ventures -- also early and heavily invested backers of Twitter -- need to encourage Meetup to get with the program like the rest of the crowds that they're claiming to source. Being unable to prevent a 4:30AM SMS from a non-critical service like Meetup.com is unacceptable.

Sure, if I wasn't at this point retrained, like one of Pavlov's dogs, to respond to that SMS chime on my smartphone, I probably would have slept through it, but still, the option to schedule SMS notification through Meetup.com is a simple and necessary feature.

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